To What Extent Was the Cold War Inevitable? Essay

1178 Words Nov 15th, 2012 5 Pages
To What Extent Was the Cold War Inevitable? With the end of World War II (WWII) in 1945 began the Cold War, an international conflict that lasted from 1947–1991 and plagued nations across the globe. As the post-war negotiations were deliberated by three of the strongest world powers, the United States (US), Britain, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), disagreements arose that created tension between the US and the USSR and ultimately instigated the infamous “Fifty Years War” (Crockatt 64). But was this conflict avoidable, or was the Cold War simply inevitable? In order to effectively answer to this issue, the origins and conflicts leading to the Cold War must be evaluated with reference to the post-war territorial …show more content…
This caused the US to believe that Soviets had mainly expansionist aims. The US was “not prepared to see the opportunity for future investment [in Eastern Europe] foreclosed” (Crockatt 67) and this belief sparked the development of the containment policy directed by George Kennan, outlined in the Long Telegram (Lightbody 5). In addition, “the west had to oppose the Soviet Union for its own survival” (Lightbody 5) as the nuclear race between the US and USSR ensued and the USSR strived to equal the already well-established program of the US. This tension did not recede as Soviets sent spies into the US Manhattan Project, the nuclear development program (Lightbody 5). When the Soviets refused to join the Baruch Plan – which controlled nuclear weapon development – the USSR became even more openly viewed as a threat to US security. The growth of communism in Asia within the countries of Korea, Vietnam, and China along with tensions between the “Iron Curtain,” or divide, between Eastern and Western Europe also contributed to increasing threat towards capitalism and the Cold War’s inevitability.
However, the Cold War was not completely inevitable. Both revisionist and orthodox historians agree that the war “resulted from essentially unilateral actions by one or another power and that therefore the cold was an avoidable tragedy” (Crockatt 65).
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